Let’s be honest: The original I Spit On Your Grave divided people more than Ben Affleck as Batman ever will. It was a brutal nightmare of exploitation that was either exploitation trash or the ultimate rape revenge fantasy. The 2010 remake was equally as divisive, especially since this was now the same world with films like Saw and Hostel. Now Steven R. Monroe, the same man who helmed the 2010 remake, brings us the sequel, this time with Thomas Fenton (of Saw IV fame) as one of the writers. Dig in?
Katie is living on her own in New York City, trying to break into modeling. In an attempt to update her portfolio, she accepts an ad for a free photo shoot by a man named Ivan. Things go okay at the start, until Ivan starts to push for Katie to show more skin. She declines and leaves. Later, Ivan’s brother Georgy meets with Katie to drop off the photos and to try and pick her up, to which she declines. Georgy doesn’t take no for an answer, and pays Katie a midnight visit and ends up violently assaulting and raping her. Georgy then kidnaps Katie and takes her to Bulgaria, where Ivan, Georgy and their brother Nicolay use her for the sex trade. After a stroke of luck, Katie escapes and begins to plan her vengeance.
The problem with a film like ISOYG 2 is what you can exactly say that you enjoy about it. Obviously, no sane person could enjoy the film’s rape scenes, which are predictably and honestly some of the hardest things I’ve ever had to watch (and yes, I’ve seen Monica Bellucci’s rape scene in Irreversible). So it’s kind of by default that the revenge scenes get the praise, even if they’re just as hard to watch as the rape scenes. While I don’t exactly share that view, I will say that there was a sense of satisfaction on some level when Ivan and company got what was coming to them. Also, the effects are all practical, making things that much more real. Gorefans will be in heaven.
As far as the acting went, Jemma Dallender was pretty good as Katie, though being put through hell like that will have garnered sympathy from the majority of people. She did bounce into B-movie territory sometimes, but she at least kept things going. Predictably, Yavor Baharov, Joe Absolom and Aleksandar Aleksiev were scumbags as Georgy, Ivan and Nicolay. Simply put, you weren’t going to like them in the slightest, and there wasn’t anything redeemable about them. Achievement get.
This is again where the film gets tough. Obviously, you can’t say you hated the film because it was full of horrible rape and equally-disturbing revenge scenes, since that’s the whole purpose of this film. Oh wait, yes, you can. Truthfully, I didn’t hate this film, but compared to the first film, the original, and other torture porn entries over the years, it’s nothing new that we haven’t seen before. The film also carries some plotholes that were rather annoying, like why Katie didn’t just go to the embassy once she was able to escape. Then again, we wouldn’t have the gory revenge scenes if she did. *sigh*
So, I Spit On Your Grave 2 is just as mean, harsh and brutal as the first film. That’s a given. But is it worth your time? If you’re like me, however, it’s a one and done viewing. Everything about this film feels like a “been there, done that” deal, and largely, that’s what it is. You’ve seen the original and the remake, so there’s really no reason why you’d want to see this one. If, however, you’re still a fan of these types of films, then you can’t go wrong with this one. There’s enough disturbing and unflinching brutality to keep you going. I’ll leave enough hot water for the shower when you’re done.
Presented in 2.40:1 1080p widescreen, ISOYG 2 looks great. Colors are deliberately muted and the film looks very cold with its cool hues. Excellent detail, with no sign of artifacting or other anomalies.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track also excels. Corey Allen Jackson returns from the first film to score this one, and again his music delivers on the suspense. Ambient effects are also nicely replicated here, and dialogue is free from any distortion.
Apart from this being a Blu-Ray/DVD combo, the only extra on this set is five minutes of deleted scenes that were obviously cut for time. If you want to watch scenes like Jemma Dallender taking selfies and complaining about how she looks for a couple of minutes, then you’re in luck.